Friday, September 16, 2011

Lake George on my Mind - Day One

Today we headed for Lake George to spend the weekend with the NERds (New England Riders). EasyEd has put together a great weekend. Not only did he seek out accommodations for over 60 of us, but put together riding routes for multiple days.

We headed out about 8:30am and within 10 minutes of leaving home; we discovered our mesh gear was out of season. The temps were hovering around 50 degrees. As we headed up RT 146 to the Mass Pike the Laminar Lip on the FJR felt the effects of the cold weather and decided to take it owns course to the Adirondacks. Off it flew soaring like a kite, up up and away. We circled back on the highway 2 times but to no avail it will stay hidden on the sidelines on RT 146 between exit 5 and 6. Nice way to start the weekend.

First thing I noticed was I was not going to be able to leave my visor up. Too much air on the eyes. Second thing I noticed was the wind noise with the visor down. MeAsWe also noticed an increase in wind noise and she rides with her visor down all the time. Only consolation is, it is fall and this is the time of the year I usually do ride with the visor down because of the temps.

We blasted out of MA and headed for Kinderhook, NY to visit Martin Van Buren Historic Site, Lindenwald. This became our 8th president retirement home. By the standards of the Vanderbilts located further south on RT 9, it is pretty plain in comparison. We spoke with the park ranger for awhile, who remembered me from last year when I told him about the IBA National Park Tour. Good memory or great customer service. Either way I smiled.

We continued up 9H (which turns into 9) to the East Greenbush Diner. Lunch was OK, not great, but not bad nothing special. Even the building had nothing special about it, typical Greek diner.

From there we headed into Troy to capture a couple of National Landmarks. First was the Gurley Building, erected in 1862. This building was put up in less than 8 months as a result of the Great Troy Fire. Since the late 1800’s the name W. & L. E. Gurley has been synonymous worldwide with the design and manufacture of precision mathematical and engineering instruments.

One neat thing I found in the Nuvi was it's ability to store photos and display them in addition to its GPS abilities. I copied a bunch of the landmark photos from the web to help me identify some of the building we were looking for. Previously it was a wing and a prayer the address was right. Sometimes I printed pictures of the buildings before we left. This actually worked out quite good because it is quick and efficient.

Next stop was the Kate Mullaney House. Kate’s House is nationally significant as the residence of one of America's leading female labor leaders, the young Irish immigrant laundry worker who organized and led the all-female Collar Laundry Union in Troy, New York, in the 1860s. The neighborhood was not one to just hang around for a long period of time, so we grabbed a couple of pics and scooted.

Harmony Mills was a complete industrial complex built at the height of cotton mills between 1860 and 1880. What makes these sites neat is one gets to visit and then research the history behind the building. It gives you some insight what made this country great.

From Troy to Lake George is only around 55 miles if you go the fast way. We tend to not go the fast way and decided to visit Saratoga National Historic Park. This was to grab the stamp for the NP tour. The Battles of Saratoga was the first significant win over the British that lead France to recognize the US as a independent country.

One last stop before we finished for the day was Owl’s Nest, home to Edward Eggleston. Ed wrote Queer Stories for Boys and Girls. His house is a National Landmark. I still don’t really have a clue who he is, but being there and taking a picture accomplish my treasure hunt for National Landmarks. Plus the ride there was great.

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